Best/favorite type of otto

Discussion in 'Fish' started by OllieNZ, 19 Nov 2009.

  1. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Location:
    Witney, UK
    Hi all
    I have a 4ft 150ish L tank and want to get some ottos
    What would be the most suitable type and how many?
    Current Stocking
    4 Bronze Corys
    4 Pepperd Corys
    4 Platys

    Thanks in advance for your help :thumbup:

    Ollie
     
  2. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    best go with the standard ones, i dont know thier scientific name but are normally labeled ottocinculus in shops.
    i know the zebra ottos are more expensive at about £6 each.
    i havent had much like with ottos, i normally manage to keep my six for about a month, then one goes, then another and so on. i think it may be down to amount of food, but they always looked plump and there is cucumber in the tanks for the BN + clown plecs.

    i have been put off by their price recently, gone from being about 1.75 to 2.50 around my area. im some places 2.75.
    that alot when you are buying 6 fish.

    @ 1.75 x 6 = 10.50
    @ 2.50 x 6 = 15.00

    thats quite a price increase for such a little fish.
     
  3. Jase

    Jase Member

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Stourbridge
    It's more a case of which ones you can get hold of I suppose. The standard ones I believe Nick is referring to will be affinis but i've had vittatus and cocama(i think) in the past. Again, like Nick, I haven't had much luck with keeping them, start out with 6-8 and a week or so later one goes, then two or three go missing until you're left with one that will last 3 months look amazingly healthy and then cark it for no apparent reason. The majority will be WC anyway so you have no idea how old they are when you buy them
     
  4. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    "Ordinary" Otto's are now bred in huge numbers in Singapore, and that is why O. cocama is much more expensive, they are still wild caught. O. affinis is quite a rare one in the UK, the ones you usually see are some of the O. hoppei, vittatus, vestitus persuasion.

    I think of them as little Gold Nugget Plecs, and treat them like they cost £20 each, they need very good quality water, highly oxygenated and they don't like temps much above 26oC. as well as feeding with cucumber, courgette, blanched runner-bean etc. LFS are really poor at looking after Otto's, they are very sensitive fish, I wouldn't suggest buying them from any chain you need to try and find a store with a proper fish keeper in place, where they feed them vegetables etc. and only buy them after they've been in the shop for a while, so the initial die off after transportation as occurred.
    I'd also be wary of keeping them with CO2 injection, unless you could ensure really good oxygenation at all times.

    Quite a few people have tank bred them in the UK now, the trigger appears to be keeping a large number and/or keeping them with a (similarly marked ideally) dwarf corydoras species. They are definitely long-lived for a little fish, my oldest is at least 4 years old. I have 4 in the tank in my kitchen, and I hadn't seen 2 of them for almost a year until recently when I turned the light on (after all the tank and kitchen lights had been out for a couple of hours), as they become almost entirely nocturnal as they age.

    cheers Darrel
     
  5. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    United States
    I would agree that otocinclus are sensitive fish with regards to any sudden changes in temp's or water chemistry. I have kept them for a number of years. As mentioned, most of these little fish are wild caught specimens and are often starving by the time they reach dealers tanks. A healthy otocinclus should in my view, resemble a Q-tip when viewing the belly.These fish are primarily Alage eaters and often do poorly in newly established tanks for this reason. There simply isn't sufficient pimary food available. Some report that these fish will adapt to vegetable matter such as those mentioned but in my expereince,,many do not, for the vegetable matter offered is not something they are familiar with in the wild. I also think they do best in groups ,and a group of five or six of these fish can completely clean an algae coated surface the size of a cooking skillet,,in a matter of a few days. It passes my understanding why anyone with little or no algae would consider keeping these little fish if they are not willing to provide and or sustain their primary food.
    I have managed to get many of them to take dried green marine algae hung from veggie clips, but if live algae is present as it is in most of my tanks,they will turn up their noses at the afore mentioned vegetable matter and or the dried form of algae.
    If it were a small algae eater, that readily takes to vegetable matter that interested me,I would lokk at possibly the Goby Pleco LDA25 or sometimes called ..Pit Bull Pleco.
     
  6. gratts

    gratts Member

    Messages:
    267
    The majority of "ordinary" otos available are still wild caught. Captively bred 'ordinary' otos are much more expensive than those that are wild caught, hence why they are not commonly seen.
     
  7. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    otto's are captive bred

    Hi all,
    I'd agree that getting them to eat cucumber is the important factor in keeping Otto's. I thought they were wild caught too, and I wondered how they were so cheap, but they are definitely captive bred, this is from a thread we had on "Apistogramma forums". USA ones are from Florida, but ours are from Singapore.

    cheers Darrel
     
  8. gratts

    gratts Member

    Messages:
    267
    Markups are a helluva lot more than that over here :lol:
    Wild otos cost pennies a piece, bred otos cost many times more, so the majority available are still wild caught. I don't doubt some shops sell tank bred ones, but you pay a premium for it!
     
  9. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    Re: otto's are captive bred

    Mine dont eat cucumber, i used to have some in a different tank, and they lapped it up, how can i get mine to eat it, just keep on offering it?
     
  10. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Re: Best/favorite type of otto - feeding cucumber

    Hi all,
    Hi Gratts, interested in this, have you got the comparative prices for the UK for WC and captive bred? I'd definitely prefer to buy captive bred.

    I tried studding mine with "spirulina granules", not sure it made any difference. What definitely does make a difference is fastening the cucumber to a bamboo cane, choose a cane about the same width as the Otto, they will rest on the cane and soon or later start on the cucumber. I fasten mine on with an elastic band, and wedge the cane in between the substrate and the bracing bar, also makes the cucumber "sink" towards the tank bottom. They will eat cucumber fresh, but anything harder (even courgette, butter-nut squash etc.) your need to leave for 48 hours before they will have a go at it.

    I'm pretty sure that mine do well because I have a lot of "biofilm" in the tank, although others may feel the aesthetic disadvantages of this over-way the advantages for the fish.

    cheers Darrel
     

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